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Linux / Unix: Generate A MD5 String

I need to generate a md5 hash for given string. It will be used by shell script to generate keys for remote web service or cryptographic application. How do I generate a md5 hash based on any input string under Linux or Unix like operating systems?

You can use md5sum command to compute and check MD5 message digest. This is a default tool on most modern Linux distributions. It generate a md5 hash for given string or words or filenames.

Create a md5 string using md5sum command

Use the following syntax:

echo -n "Your-String-Here" | md5sum

In this example create a md5 hash for wpblog string that can be used by memcached server

 echo -n "wpblog" | md5sum

Sample outputs:

6afedb7a8348eb4ebdbe0c77ef92db4c -

You can store the same in a bash shell variable called hash as follows:

hash="$(echo -n "$md5" | md5sum )"
echo "$hash"
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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • anton bors June 6, 2012, 8:07 am

    Reading from standard input:
    $ md5sum –

    a little script:

    echo $1
    echo $1 | md5sum

    $ ./md5 hallo
    aee97cb3ad288ef0add6c6b5b5fae48a –

    The “-” declares, that this message comes from standard input

    • AtesComp February 21, 2014, 1:45 am

      Beware this script! You should use the “-n” option for echo as shown in the main article. Otherwise, a newline is appended to the output of the echo command and your hash will not be as advertised (unless you really want the newline).

      echo $1
      echo -n $1 | md5sum

      $ ./md5 hallo
      598d4c200461b81522a3328565c25f7c –

      Not “aee97cb3ad288ef0add6c6b5b5fae48a” as shown above.

      • Dorell James Galang February 17, 2016, 4:03 am

        If your hash contains a “–” at the end. Well, seriously this is not correct. I suggest you use this command instead to get rid of that character.

        echo -n "samplestring" | md5sum | cut -d"-" -f1 -

  • Roy Bellingan June 12, 2012, 9:32 am

    Remember that md5 should only used for file hash now, in recent days linked_in had a major password leakage for using md5…
    md5 and password leaked.

    • Drew H December 13, 2012, 3:21 am

      You’re an idiot mate

  • Guy Merritt August 23, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I love this site – it’s got more simple, helpful tips for *Nix amateurs (like me!) than I’ve ever seen elsewhere. But, for the life of me, I can’t find a site search anywhere. I was looking for this page, because I’d forgotten the syntax to generate an encrypted password. What’s up with no site search…? If I wanted to search Google, I’d search Google. Anyway, thanks for all of the help. Great site.

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